January 15, 2024
“Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant” Mark 10:43
Regardless of the snowstorm, many schools were closed today for the federal holiday. Dating back to the 1980s, this holiday honors the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. Roughly 10 years after the federal holiday was established, congress added a national day of service to it. It is fitting that a day honoring Martin Luther King Jr. also highlights serving others. Service was something King exemplified and spoke of often. A glance at the life of Jesus and his teachings reveals that serving others is essential to the Christian life. For that reason, service is considered a Spiritual Discipline.
In one of his last sermons before his death, King preached on service, citing Mark 10 where Jesus redefines greatness. In Mark 10:35-45 Jesus is with his disciples when an argument breaks out. Despite many conversations, the disciples still think Jesus will set up a political kingdom and they want in. They want to know who will get the best position in Jesus’ administration.
Instead of condemning them, Jesus says they aren’t understanding him. The power Jesus brings isn’t about human authority. Instead, in the kingdom of God, serving holds the highest regard. Verse 43 says “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant”. Great ministry and leadership is lived out in service to others. Jesus showed us this with every part of his life.
King points out that this passage in Mark 10, changes the definition of greatness; “It means that everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.” We all have the ability to serve and are all called to do so. As 1 Peter 4:10-11 declares, God wants us to use our talents to serve others. Therefore, serving should be a regular part of our lives.
You may be thinking, “I don’t have time to volunteer” or “that’s just not my thing”. That could be true, but I challenge you to see service differently. Volunteering is important and beneficial, but serving is about more than that. Philippians 2:5 states that service involves modeling the attitude and life of Christ. Service is a heart perspective. It is a way of living in which we are aware of the needs around us and eager to meet them.
You can serve in your home by preparing meals and doing laundry with an attitude of love for your family. You can serve at your job by attentively listening to a coworker, when your workload would dictate otherwise. Author Richard Foster extensively talks about Spiritual Disciplines and says “When we see simple, everyday acts of kindness, we are witnessing service in action.” Serving takes on many forms and is more than time set aside for volunteering. When we allow the Holy Spirit to fill us with grace and love, service will become a part of who we are. And through serving others, the Holy Spirit continually molds us to be more like Christ.
As you go through the week ask God to open your eyes to how you can serve others. Is there someone God is calling you to stop and listen to? Does your attitude reflect a heart of service? How could you ask God to change your perspective on serving?
Heavenly Father, Thank you for Jesus and the example he sets of serving others. Give us the same attitude in our own lives. Open our hearts and eyes to the needs of others and fill us with a willingness to lovingly care for others in big and small ways. We pray this in your son’s name, Amen.
Spiritual Care Coordinator
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